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Thesunsays_4
This morning’s Sun Says column is unimpressed with Labour’s record on crime:

"Throughout the “missing murderers” fiasco, Charles Clarke clung like a drowning man to his claim that crime is falling.  Now we have the truth.  Shocking new figures show street violence, muggings and robbery are UP. Sex attacks are UP. Drug crime and gunshot injuries are UP… Ministers can make all the excuses they like, but everything from minor bullying to machine gun killings are on the rise.  And the events of the last few days give us no reason to believe this government has a clue what to do about it."

But this disillusionment with Labour isn’t sending The Sun into the
arms of the Tories.   Like ConservativeHome.com, The Sun is frustrated
with the Tory leader’s near-silence on issues like crime and tax.
Under a ‘Too late, Dave’ headline, it writes:

"Tory leader David Cameron has slammed the government
for failing to get to grips with crime and asylum cheats.  That’s a bit
rich after ordering his MPs to pipe down on immigration – even though
the issue unites voters of all parties.  As a result of Tory silence,
the extremist BNP has picked up votes and now poses an ugly threat in
next week’s council polls.  Having tried to shed their “nasty” image,
the Tories now risk looking like opportunists.  Mr Cameron must hope
voters don’t get really angry about taxes – BEFORE the Tories wake up
to it as the central issue of the next election."

ConservativeHome has always supported the Tory leader’s commitment to
the environment, domestic poverty and international hunger but there
has been something unbalanced – even incredible – about completely abandoning the
core issues that the party over-emphasised at last year’s General
Election.

Some visitors to this site don’t want mention of the weaknesses of the
Tory strategy and they want us to focus single-mindedly on Labour’s
mounting troubles but such an approach would be wrong.  Most disaffected Labour supporters appear – according to the polls – to be heading into the unlikely arms of Ming Campbell.  A Tory parliamentary majority of one doesn’t just require Labour to do badly it needs us to do well against the LibDems.

The Tories will make gains next Thursday – partly on the back of increased support from ABC1s who find the party socially acceptable again – but today’s Economist sets three reasonable benchmarks by which to judge the extent of progress:

  • A share of the vote in the high 30s;
  • A strong recovery in London where Tory support sank lowest during the darkest years;
  • No LibDem surge.

In The Telegraph Philip Johnston thinks net Tory gains of 200 are "the least they should aim for".  "Over 300 would be good progress," he continues, "and 500-plus would raise hopes of an overall majority at the next general election."

64 comments for: Can the Tories benefit from Labour’s woes?

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